Monday, January 14, 2013

Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod #1, by Heather Brewer

This is a really refreshing story of an adolescent vampire, Vladimir, who is living with his human aunt and attending a human junior high school.   It is a engaging read and offers a humorous look at a vampire surrounded by normies.    Brewer keeps the reading going by adding a substitute teacher who appears to be possibly a dangerous "special powers" being.  Readers want to continue reading to see if Mr. Otis is good or bad guy and to solve the mystery of his vampire father's life and death.

Unfortunately this book seems to be out of print.  It is still possible to get the boxed set.  I listened to it thanks to our library's audio book collection.  There are graphic novels based on this book available.

The school library reviewer was not necessarily been kind to Brewer in his review of this first book, however Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus were more kind.  My sense is that many junior high/middle school students would enjoy it.  The humor will appeal to many of them.  It is relatively uncomplicated, but offers an interesting look at a different interpretation of vampires within human society.  I see great possibilities of contrasting the characterization of Vlad in this book and juxtaposing it with vampires in Twilight, Team Human,or The Mortal Instruments.  I offers rich possibilities for exploration of both character development and mood/tone within literature.

As a devoted vampire literature reader, I also appreciate the many allusions to the traditions of vampire literature.  Thus, it creates an opportunity to introduce students to a large literary community and literary analysis.

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